The literacy environment of preschool classrooms: contributions to children's emergent literacy growth

Authors


Address for correspondence: Ying Guo, Literacy and Second Language Studies Program School of Education, University of Cincinnati, 615 Teacher/Dyer Hall 2610 McMicken Cir, Cincinnati OH 45221, USA. E-mail: guoy3@UCMAIL.UC.EDU

Abstract

This study examined the relations among features of the classroom physical literacy environment (book materials, literacy area and writing materials) and psychological literacy environment (instructional support), and preschool children's gains in two areas of emergent literacy over an academic year. Results showed that features of the physical literacy environment had little direct association with children's gains in emergent literacy, with the exception of quality of literacy area being a positive and significant predictor of children's gains in alphabet knowledge (but not name-writing ability). Rather, the physical and psychological literacy environment seem to be interdependent, particularly with respect to provision of writing materials. Specifically, presence of writing materials is positively and significantly associated with children's growth in alphabet knowledge and name-writing ability only within the context of high-quality, instructionally supportive classrooms. Educational implications are discussed.

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